online shoppingChristmas 2016 could be the first year of Christmas Day deliveries. Delivery experts Fastlane International say radical fulfilment plans need to be developed now to meet growing public expectations this year.

This Monday there are just 265 days left till Christmas. With 100 days of planning already gone, web delivery experts Fastlane International say retailers large and small need to be finalising their Christmas delivery strategies. And Christmas Day deliveries could be a customer winner.

Says Fastlane International’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT: ‘With the increased emphasis on same day delivery and multiple delivery choices; those retailers who still think it’s acceptable to say on 17 December, or even earlier, that orders might not arrive in time for Christmas look set to lose £1000s in sales. Customer expectation is growing, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a service such as Amazon Prime Now actually delivering on Christmas Day’

The Christmas retail landscape is already looking very different to 2015. Argos introduced its pioneering same-day Fast Track service just before Christmas last year and it was well received, and was actually taking orders on December 24. This year it will have the scale of Sainsbury’s empire behind it. This could change High Street shopping and particularly internet customers’ delivery expectations.

Says David: ‘Fastlane has been warning for some time that deliveries will become as important as price in the battle to win customers and keep them loyal. This is why Amazon has invested so heavily in its Prime member delivery options, including its near-instant Now service: because it knows that its Prime members spend 68% more with Amazon than non-members. That’s customers already lost to other retailers next Christmas – unless their delivery options are made more attractive. It’s not such a leap to envisage Amazon delivering on Christmas day… albeit for a price!’

Additionally, the switch to mobile is also something that e-tailers need to have in place by Christmas if they haven’t already. Fastlane’s research shows three quarters of e-commerce traffic now takes place on mobile in the UK. Sites that aren’t optimised for tablets and smartphones will miss out on research and orders by shoppers on the go. Retailers need to have responsive sites in place in good time for Black Friday and beyond.

Concludes David: ‘To ensure they have themselves a very merry Christmas, retailers, from the smallest online marketplace trader to major multichannel names, need to have deliveries at the heart of their Christmas campaigns.’


By Alison